PSU TO HOST 2016, 2018 INDOOR TRACK: The NCAA chose Pittsburg State as the host site for the 2016 and 2018 Division II Indoor Track Championships. "It's a dream come true," Pitt State track coach Russ Jewett said. "It's kind of a double positive. We're excited about getting a new facility and then this tremendous bonus on top of it, hosting a national championship in our brand new state-of-the-art facility. We just feel extremely blessed." "For the NCAA to choose Pittsburg State as a host site, in a facility we haven't even broken ground on, reflects the organization's faith in the university and the greater community to get the job done and to do it right," Steve Scott, Pitt State president, said. "I am confident we will not only meet their high expectations but exceed them." "It's an honor to be selected to host an NCAA national championship," athletics director Jim Johnson said. "We know we had a strong bid but when you don't even have a facility constructed yet, there's always doubt. It really speaks to the confidence that the NCAA has in Pittsburg State University and in our community." "This event will bring more than 1,000 competitors and support personnel from every corner of the U.S. to Pittsburg for three exciting days," B.J. Harris, director of the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said. "The economic impact will be significant but just as important will be the national attention this will bring to the region." SUBERU RETIRES, MUELLER HIRED: Pitt State head volleyball coach Ibraheem Suberu announced his retirement after 15 seasons as the patriarch of the program . . . and Pitt State hired Jenny Mueller as the head coach in early December. Mueller has been an assistant for the past three seasons. "Making this decision was very hard on a lot of levels and I am sure it will come as a surprise to the many wonderful people who are significant in many ways to our program: our past, current and future Gorillas, colleagues on our staff and in the profession, mentors and community of great friends on campus and beyond," Suberu said in a media release. "I am very grateful to everyone whose vision and energy made my being a part of this exceptional educational institution and community of Pittsburg, Kansas possible – from Coach Broyles, Dr. Bryant, Mr. Patterson, the late Tommy Riggs, President Scott, Jim Johnson, Diana Polston, former team members, current team members and their families, our outstanding colleagues at PSU Athletics, along with so many others on campus, and in/outside of Pittsburg whom I owe tremendous lifetime of thanks. I appreciate Jim's support over the years and his caring understanding when I shared my decision that this is the right time for me to take a long time off from coaching for family reasons." Suberu's overall record at Pitt State: 264-237 with six NCAA Tournament appearances — 2003-04, 2006-09. The Nigerian native owns 45 percent of the volleyball program's 590 all-time victories. "He's got some big shoes to fill," Mueller said. "He's done some tremendous things here. As Jim (Johnson) said, with six times to the national tournament and he's been nationally-ranked five times in his career here, it is a tremendous foundation to continue to strive and build on. He will be remembered by everyone that he has touched and worked with . . . yes, it will be tough but he's always going to be there as a mentor, as well." Mueller becomes the 11th head volleyball coach — before Suberu took over in 1999, there were Pat Throop (1974-77), Joan Warrington (1978-83), Cathy Schulte (1984), Mary Nutter (1985), Larry Fischer (1986-89), Sarah Peltser (1990), Kerry Messersmith (1991-93), Amy Townsend (1994-96) and Todd Biggs (1997-98). MOSIER NAMED FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Pitt State's Madison Mosier earned her conference honor after enjoying a season of 305 kills, 161 digs and 68 blocks for the 16-16 Gorillas, who made the MIAA Tournament for the first time since 2009. BRANCH SCORES 57 POINTS VS. KU, K-STATE: Pitt State's Devon Branch, a junior transfer from the University of Oregon who never played a game in Eugene and who led the Jayhawk Conference in scoring at Cloud County two years ago, led all scorers with 27 points against Kansas and 30 points against Kansas State in exhibition games at Allen Fieldhouse and Bramlage Coliseum, respectively. KU head coach Bill Self and K-State head coach Bruce Weber each had praise for Branch. "Devon Branch got anywhere he wanted with the ball and I thought he was probably the best player in the game without question," Self said. "We have got to give credit to Branch, he is a heck of a player," Weber said. "30 points and 16 rebounds, which is pretty great numbers in anybody's book." Branch leads the Gorillas with 20.2 points per game and ranks second on the team at 5.2 rebounds. MACY FINISHES SECOND AT NATIONALS: Pitt State senior Jessica Macy made a sudden impact on the cross country program during her only season competing for the Gorillas. Macy finished second in the NCAA-II National Championships in Spokane, Wash., with a time of 21 minutes, 2.1 seconds and her second place is the highest national finish for a Pitt State runner since Christie (Allen) Logue won back-to-back national titles in 1991-92. Macy won a MIAA title on her home course and finished third at regionals to qualify as an individual to nationals. She participated in five races and finished no worse than third — two firsts, two seconds and one third. "She's just kicked it up a notch in terms of performance," Pitt State head coach Russ Jewett said. "Obviously, having a good front runner helps the team but I think, seeing her train every day at such a high level, it just raises the level for everyone." STALCUP, POPPE SELECTED IN THE MLB DRAFT: The Oakland Athletics picked Pitt State southpaw Matt Stalcup with the 281st pick (Round 9) of the MLB First-Year Player Draft. "Words can't describe the way I'm feeling right now," Stalcup said. "This is definitely the best moment of my life. "Some teams hinted at late in the 10th but nothing was made definite. I waited patiently and got a phone call. Now, it's history. "I had a few jumps. I hugged my dad and I hugged my mom pretty tight." Stalcup joined pitcher Scott Beach (Pittsburgh Pirates, 1995), pitcher Travis Shaffer (New York Mets, 1992), catcher Steve Eagen (Boston Red Sox, 1966 and 1967), catcher David Ross (New York Yankees, 1966) and pitcher Kerry Compton (New York Yankees, 1965) as Pitt State players selected in the MLB Draft. The Milwaukee Brewers selected Girard High graduate and Kansas pitcher Tanner Poppe with the 932nd overall pick (31st round). This was Poppe's third selection, following the 37th round in 2009 (Kansas City Royals) and 2011 (Tampa Bay Rays). Stalcup played his first professional season with the Vermont Lake Monsters (A), posting a 2-4 mark with a 2.83 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings. Poppe played for two teams in the Brewers organization and finished his first pro season 2-0 with a 2.10 ERA, two saves and 24 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings. PSU BASEBALL WINS POSTSEASON SERIES: Under first-year head coach Matt Murray, Pitt State reached the postseason for the first time since 2004 and won a best-of-three playoff series against Central Missouri played in Hays. "First of all, it was an outstanding series," Murray said. "Best two-out-of-three that was played out in Hays. I need to compliment Coach Myers (Tom Myers) and their program in terms of wanting to move the location to Hays and I thought our players responded really well. "Certainly, had a great performance to start the series off with Matt Stalcup in Game 1. I thought we played really well in Game 1. In Game 2, they came back and took it right back to us. It was interesting going into that final day for Game 3 and I tell you, Cody Wren did an outstanding job in Game 3. I felt like we defended it about as well as we have all year in Game 3 and certainly, we were able to push enough runs across." Central Missouri entered the series as the No. 7-ranked team in the nation and the series win moved the Gorillas into the MIAA Final Four. Pitt State ended its season 29-24, the program's most wins since 2005. JERONIMUS REACHES 1,000: Pitt State's Lizzy Jeronimus reached 1,000 points in the 71-67 MIAA Tournament first round loss to Missouri Western at John Lance Arena, her 1,000-1,002 points coming on an old-fashioned three-point play. She scored 25 points against Western to end the season with 1,020 career points, good for 16th all-time. Jeronimus became the 17th player in school history to join the 1,000 club. "Lizzy continues to impress," Pitt State head coach Lane Lord said before the 2013-14 season. "She's a junior now. We all still remember when she was a freshman taking the team on the back to the Elite Eight but she's gotten better and better. Physically stronger, mentally stronger, she scored over 1,000 points in just two years, which is an amazing feat. I still think her best basketball is ahead of her. She's just been outstanding. She's a great leader, she loves Pittsburg State and she wants our team to be very successful." Jeronimus crossed the 1,200-point barrier last time out against Truman State. ROBERTS SCORES 1,000: Pitt State guard Drew Roberts finished her four-year basketball career with 1,045 points, as well as 102 starts and 185 3-pointers. She ranked second all-time in the latter two statistical categories at Pitt State. "Actually, I didn't talk with Pitt until late in my senior year," Roberts said. "Coach Davied (Amanda Davied) and Coach Lord (Lane Lord) and the whole staff came to my house. We all talked about it. I came on a visit and I liked it a lot. The coaching staff is what brought me into Pittsburg. "My family really enjoyed Coach Lord. He's just a good guy overall who takes care of his players. That's what I heard, he was awesome. He influenced me a lot to come here and play." Her junior season was the one she will never forget. The Gorillas finished the season 27-6 and made the Elite Eight, winning their first, second and third NCAA Tournament games in school history. Off the court, Roberts' father David died of cancer on Dec. 14, 2011. Dad was his daughter's biggest fan. "With everything with my dad, you would think I would have a bad year with all that going on," Roberts said. "It's almost like he pushed me harder to accomplish even more. I just wanted to fight even more for him, even though it was tough. I had a lot of support here at Pittsburg and back at home (especially her mother, Gina). I went home to see them a lot so it was good. A lot was your teammates being there for you. I think that's how I got through it, honestly. "Basketball is what got me through the hard times. It just keeps my mind off a lot of things. It keeps me busy instead of just sitting at home." Roberts played with a tattoo of her father (high school picture) visible on her upper left arm. McGEE REACHES 1,000 POINTS, 700 REBOUNDS: Pitt State forward JaVon McGee finished his four-year career 12th in scoring with 1,113 points and third in rebounding with 716 boards. McGee was also tied for eighth in career games at 108 and sixth in steals with 120. McGee sat down for a feature a couple days before the MIAA quarterfinals in Kansas City, Mo., where Pitt State's season ended in a loss to Central Missouri. “Last year, after we lost in the MIAA Championship, I don't know if anybody remembers it but Coach Muff (Pitt State head coach Kevin Muff) made us stand out there and watch Washburn get the awards, get the trophies,” McGee said on Tuesday. “We had to watch (Washburn guard) Will McNeill get the MVP of the conference tournament. Just sitting out there when we lost and seeing the seniors breaking down and getting all emotional, it was tough to watch. “That's all I've been focusing on. I could care less about the awards. I want to go back and get this tournament championship. That's how it was in high school. We made it all the way to the state championship but it was my senior year and we didn't get a second chance to do it. . . . I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make sure we get that trophy. I'm ready to come home and get a NCAA berth. We haven't done it in a while (since 2007).” McGee overcame injuries to his shoulder and wrist during his senior year. He now plays for Basket Cartagena (Spain) of the EBA League Group E. STEWART INKS WITH WILLIAM JEWELL: Southeast senior Brytany Stewart has made history during her high school career and she made some more when she signed her national letter of intent to swim at William Jewell. "Just thankful (to St. Paul) for the opportunity," Stewart said at her signing. "Being the only swimmer (from Southeast), they were still able to let me co-op and have the chance to swim. . . . What helped me make my decision was just the seriousness they (William Jewell) were about their sports. I went up there and I wasn't too sure. I was kinda iffy about the school and after the visit, I really considered it and I really liked it there." "I've got to know this young lady for the last three years," Southeast athletic director Frank Pittman said. "Whether it be cross country or being familiar with who she is and what she's accomplished in the last four years, I'm very pleased to see her sign her national letter of intent to swim at William Jewell. I know that with her work ethic, she will do a tremendous job there and I know she will carry on the tradition of Southeast High School." Stewart began swimming competitively at the age of 5.